Travel and Moving
22 Aug 2005
The other day I had this IM conversation with a friend:
> 没有空: you got plans for [the October holiday] week?
> John: I was thinking of going to Beijing
> 没有空: 哦。 [Oh.]
> John: You ever do any traveling around China? No interest?
> 没有空: 我反对旅游。太费力，太费钱，太麻烦。 [I’m against travel. It’s a waste of energy and money, and it’s too much hassle.]
> John: you sure you belong outside the USA?
> 没有空: there’s a difference between moving someplace and staying for a while, which I’ve done many times, and short term travelling.
> John: Yeah. Travelling is fun. Moving is difficult and stressful.
> 没有空: 切 [as if!]
> 没有空: moving is purposeful and noble. travelling is useless and ignoble.
> John: How is moving noble??? It’s just necessary. That doesn’t impart any nobility. Travelling is much more noble because it represents a voluntary effort to become more familiar with an unfamiliar place — to better understand the world you live in.
> 没有空: and waste time and money and disrupt the work you should be doing.
> 没有空: 只有超级英雄喜欢搬家！只有流浪痞棍喜欢旅游哼！ [Only superheroes like moving! Only vagrant scoundrels like traveling!]
> John: work is not life. Any life of your own outside the workplace is a disruption of work.
> 没有空: not workplace work. One’s own work. Travelling, like drinking, is a way to hide from one’s responsibilities.
> 没有空: how can you 为人民服务 [serve the people] if you are traipsing around tourist sites?
> 没有空: nice 吹ing牛 [bullshitting] with you but I got to get to work…
While it’s true that my friend doesn’t really like travelling, I know he was partly just being facetious. I can’t really fathom how people can dislike travel, though.
I want to travel more.
P.S. I should be arriving back in Shanghai this afternoon, completing a 27-hour train from Changchun. Mission accomplished! (sort of)